Thursday, February 5, 2009

Our Pioneer Living Experiment--Clothes#3

In our experiment with getting back to the basics, it has been my goal not only to limit my kid's clothing but mine as well. I basically live in the same two pair of jeans and two skirts and wear my favorite shirts over and over anyway. So, it's caused me to consider why do I have so many other clothes hanging in my closet, just taking up space? I get a lot of hand-me-downs from folks in my life, but I need to learn to be even more choosy about what I hang on to. So, I'm weeding out and filling up a bag for the thrift store.

These are some ideas for keeping clothing simple in the home (a lot of them are repeats from former posts I've done):
*Kids clothing in clothing tubs in the closet instead of dressers

*Kids can reach the clothing tubs so they can pick out outfits and put clothing away for you

*Don't bother folding kids' clothes. This is hard for many to get used to, but after months and months of folding and re-folding clothes that Ali mussed, I followed a tip from my friend Heather and just gave up folding. I was folding Jer's up until last week but once I cleared out his outfits and limited them, I had more room in his clothing tub so there is plenty of room now to throw unfolded clothing in. Someday my kids will fold their clothing neatly but in this stage of life, I feel it's not practical. If I fold the clothes, I get upset when the kids unfold them putting them away or when they rifle through them. If I don't fold them, I'm so much more relaxed about them and it's so much easier to put away laundry. Jer is going through several outfits a day (learning to go potty) and so it saves me tons of time to not fold! I also don't fold cloth diapers but have a little laundry basket filled with them that sits in the living room where I do diaper changes.

*Re-wear or re-hang clothing that isn't dirty. A friend recently told me that she will sometimes see "clean" clothes in the hamper and just fold them and put them back in her older children's rooms unbeknownst to them. There's no sense in washing clothes that aren't truly dirty. In thinking about the pioneer women, I know they didn't have the luxury of washing clothes often and all of their washing was by hand and their water supply was limited. Some clothes get dirty after one wearing but some articles of clothing are fine to wear a few times before washing.

*Implement a sock box--I was getting sick of stray socks and sock piles that seemed to hang out eternally on my couch waiting for a mate. So, I put a box on top of the dryer and all socks go into there and I will take a few moments to match them here and there and strays can stay there, instead of on my couch.

*Limit shoes as well

*Rotate seasonal clothing

*Don't buy clothes on the fly! If you feel you need something new, think about for a while, save for it, talk to your spouse about it, and make a careful list. I can't tell you how many times I've bought something impulsively only to discover it didn't fit well or didn't match anything or was the same color as all of my other clothes and very unnecessary.

These are just my ideas for keeping clothes simple. I realize everyone's family situation and preferences are different so these ideas may not work for you.


Momma Bear said...

these are really helpful to me thanks!

Thia said...

I recently stopped folding the baby clothes (why I started I don't know cause I didn't with the first two). The past few days, when I fold clean laundry, I've been throwing their stuff in a basket and letting them sort and put it away. I told my son last night I didn't care if it was folded or not, just put it away. LOL. I find hanging clothes is quicker too. I hang all my shirts except my sweaters. If I could just break my husband of wanting his underwear folded.

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